Four Myths about driving faster to save time
Driving fast may cause you to think you're more alert, but the added stress and pressure that comes with passing unaware motorists and avoiding speed traps actually causes driver fatigue and stress-related illnesses. That extra wear and tear, on both you and your truck, does eventually catch up with you.
MYTH NO. 1
"Sure it costs a little more to drive fast, but it doesn't add up to much."
"For every mile-per-hour you drive over 60, you reduce your fuel economy by one-tenth of a gallon-per-mile," says Jeff Amen of American Truck Business Services, a bookkeeping, tax preparation and consulting service for owner-operators.
Still, some owner-operators believe that arriving sooner to the delivery point is worth the extra fuel cost. Is it? Consider this not-so-hypothetical situation.
Let's fix fuel at $3.95 per gallon and assume 120,000 miles of driving in a year. How much money in fuel cost is saved in a year by consistently driving 65 mph (6.5 mpg), rather than 75 mph (5.5 mpg)? Answer: over $13,000.
What about driving 60 mph (7.0 mpg), rather than 75 mph? Answer: almost $18,500.
MYTH NO. 2
"The faster I go, the sooner I will get there and the more money I can earn."
Now, let's fix your route at 500 miles. By driving 75 mph rather than 60 mph, you save one hour and forty-five minutes. But it costs you an additional $77 to arrive sooner-that's $1.28 right out of your pocket for every minute you saved on the road. Can you really afford to toss $77 out the window for every 500 miles you log?
Bottom line: exceeding the speed limit eats into your bottom line. Conversely, maintaining a constant, legal speed on the highway substantially enhances your profits-and you contribute to a safer driving environment.
MYTH NO. 3
"The faster I drive, the more alert I become."
You may be running in the fast lane, but really you're living with a false sense of urgency. Driving fast may cause you to think you're more alert, but the added stress and pressure that comes with passing unaware motorists and avoiding speed traps actually causes driver fatigue and stress-related illnesses.
That extra wear and tear, on both you and your truck, does eventually catch up with you. What if you get sick or have an accident? Can you afford the time off and/or the cost of the repairs?
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that speed-related highway crashes cost $40.4 billion. Slow down. Stay safe. Save money.
MYTH NO. 4
"A road mile is a road mile. It doesn't hurt my rig to drive fast."
As you increase vehicle speed, you increase engine, tire and brake wear-which increases maintenance and repair expenses. Have you ever wondered why racecars are so expensive to operate? Speed costs!